Dr. Marshall Cahill is the director of a government institute that employs various scientific geniuses, including the elderly Dr. Nicholson, who knows that Cahill's son Neil has plagiarized a dead man's theory of molecular structure. When Nicholson threatens exposure, Dr. Cahill murders him and cleverly makes the killing look like the job of a heroin junkie who needed his fix. But clever or not, another kind of genius is on the case: the rumpled, redoubtable Lt. Columbo. Written by
The earliest Columbo movie entry dates back from 1968 but yet no other Columbo movie seems as old as this one. The silly outdated technical and scientific elements and the presence of Robby the Robot makes this movie feel and look outdated which does take away some of the quality of the overall movie but nevertheless doesn't prevent the movie from being not entertaining or bad to watch.
Nevertheless I don't really count this movie among one of the best out of the long running Columbo series. The story and especially its settings were not really interesting enough and the movie also really lacked a good well known actor opposite Peter Falk. It's not that José Ferrer is a bad actor but he just didn't played his role very interestingly, which caused his presence and role to be a forgettable one. There also isn't enough interaction between him and Lt.Columbo, which normally really is a requirement for a good Columbo movies.
There were more clues left out for Lt. Columbo than usual, which is also one of the reasons why the story isn't among the best out of all the Columbo movies.
Quite funny how Robby the Robot often keeps popping up in movies and series. He made his first appearance in 1956 in the science-fiction movie "Forbidden Planet" and continues appearing in movies till this present day. His role in this movie is also quite big and significant for the movie its main plot.
It remains a well made movie and a pleasant enough to watch murder-mystery but it's perhaps a tad bit more forgettable than most other average Columbo entries.
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